India will be part of a mega air combat exercise in Australia this month that is set to witness the participation of around 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel from 17 countries.
India’s participation in the exercise, “Pitch Black”, has been confirmed by the Australian government.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) considers “Pitch Black” as its “capstone” international engagement activity with the air forces of strategic partners and allies.
The exercise is scheduled to take place from August 19 to September 6.
The defence and security ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing in the last few years.
In June 2020, the two countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.
The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India in November 2020 as well as last year.